2/15

Cursive

Summer Cannibals
The Campdogzz

All Ages | 7 pm

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Cursive

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OUR LINKS


Summer Cannibals

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    The Campdogzz

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      2/16

      Amanda Fish

      All Ages | 7 pm

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      Amanda Fish

      Amanda Fish began as a singer songwriter in late 2012, refining her original material as a solo act for 2 years before she formed her band in early 2014, a Roots Rock and Soul project featuring Amanda's signature 'from-the-gut' vocals locked into a sturdy groove.

      In 2015, she released her first LP, "Down In The Dirt", on VizzTone Label Group, for which she was awarded the 2016 "Sean Costello Rising Star" Blues Blast Music Award. Amanda and her band set Beale Street on fire in the 2017 International Blues Challenge Semi Finals, playing new material slated for her next release.



        2/16

        The Official Taylor Gang Afterparty w/ Major Guest!”

        DJ Vince
        DJ Jahreezy
        Coup DV

        18 & Over | 10 pm

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        The Official Taylor Gang Afterparty w/ Major Guest!”

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          DJ Vince

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            DJ Jahreezy

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              Coup DV

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                2/20

                Eminence Ensemble

                The Iceman Special

                All Ages | 8 pm

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                Eminence Ensemble

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                  The Iceman Special

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                    2/23

                    Cory Phillips and the Band of Light

                    Page 7

                    All Ages | 8 pm

                    Cory Phillips and the Band of Light

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                      Page 7

                      Reggae has been an international musical constant for decades. There have never

                      been so many outstanding acts from all over the world producing such high-level

                      output. Within this momentum, Page 7 has created a new reggae and rocksteady

                      sound for both classic and modern audiences.

                      Created in 2014 by veterans of the idiom, Page 7 has the makings of supergroup.

                      With players formally and informally acknowledged as some of the finest

                      songwriters and performers in the genre, the group’s members have built up an

                      impressive track record that includes a combined total of over one hundred album

                      credits, national and international tour dates, and sharing the stage with reggae

                      superstars including Burning Spear, Toots and the Maytals, The Wailers, Luciano,

                      Tony Rebel, Yellowman, Junior Murvin, Dean Fraser, and many more.

                      Combining the best traditions of reggae with a hybrid of pop and traditional

                      elements from around the world, Page 7 creates a powerful live music experience

                      that listeners from all walks can enjoy. Fans of reggae music should prepare

                      themselves with open ears and an eye on the horizon for the newest addition to

                      reggae’s international sound.

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                      2/28

                      Nick Schnebelen Band

                      Dust Devil Choir

                      All Ages | 7 pm

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                      Nick Schnebelen Band

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                        Dust Devil Choir

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                          3/1

                          Alchemic

                          A Gentle Echo
                          Witchcraft Lemonade
                          Brass Knuckle Boulevard

                          All Ages | 8 pm

                          Alchemic

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                            A Gentle Echo

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                              Witchcraft Lemonade

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                                Brass Knuckle Boulevard

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                                  3/2

                                  Spafford

                                  All Ages | 8 pm

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                                  Spafford

                                  Spafford is a four piece funk rock act hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. The band is comprised of Brian Moss (Guitar), Jordan Fairless (Bass), Andrew “Red” Johnson (Keys), and Cameron Laforest (Drums). Refusing to be restricted to any musical boundaries, Spafford seamlessly blends together an eclectic mixture of all of their collective musical experience. The heart of their sound is rooted in deep sonic exploration with a focus on improvisational elements. With jams stretching well beyond the typical structures of their songs, fans have flocked to their live shows to experience the unique energy captured within each performance. A focus on blending genres with a deep foundation of patient groove building has helped craft a sound all their own. Formed in 2012 by happenstance, the band has been building an organic fanbase in the Southwestern United States through word of mouth ever since. As the secret has gotten out Spafford has moved onto national touring, sharing the stage on a coast to coast tour with jam heavyweights Umphrey’s Mcgee in 2017. Reaching the next level in their ascent in an ever changing jam band landscape, Spafford has risen to the top of the next wave of acts by providing quality improvisation and a truly unique musical experience. Spafford has hit the road full time and is bringing their high energy performances nationwide.

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                                  3/7

                                  The Kid Fraze

                                  Brad Varsity
                                  LFK Fengshui
                                  Kid Chambz

                                  All Ages | 7 pm

                                  The Kid Fraze

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                                    Brad Varsity

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                                      LFK Fengshui

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                                        Kid Chambz

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                                          3/8

                                          M-80s

                                          All Ages | 7 pm

                                          M-80s

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                                            3/9

                                            Shaw Davis & the Black Ties

                                            All Ages | 8 pm

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                                            Shaw Davis & the Black Ties

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                                              3/12

                                              Backwoods Payback

                                              Custom Black
                                              Pit Hag

                                              All Ages | 8 pm

                                              Backwoods Payback

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                                                Custom Black

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                                                  Pit Hag

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                                                    3/15

                                                    Wick-It the Instigator

                                                    All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                    Wick-It the Instigator

                                                    He’s got a reputation for doing some thoughtfully fresh and mindblowingly original remixes that take him from beyond a standard dub step or mash-up artist to a DJ/producer with skills that have turned heads and caught ears all over the Southeast. In a live setting, he sends people off with his mix of humor, ingenious pop culture samples and beats that can’t be touched. While his roots are firmly planted in hip hop, there is no shortage of heavy electronic bass music at a Wick-it show.

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                                                    3/16

                                                    Ebony Tusks

                                                    Visitor
                                                    Bowlsey
                                                    Flock of Pigs
                                                    PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

                                                    All Ages | 7 pm

                                                    Ebony Tusks

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                                                    Visitor

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                                                      Bowlsey

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                                                        Flock of Pigs

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                                                          Drifter

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                                                            3/17

                                                            Tyler Carter

                                                            All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                            Tyler Carter

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                                                              3/22

                                                              Radkey

                                                              Drop a Grand
                                                              The Bad Ideas
                                                              Wick & the Tricks

                                                              All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                              Radkey

                                                              It wouldn’t be hard to make the argument that rock and roll in its purest form is pretty much a teenage fantasy writ large. Like a blacklight poster sprung to life, the lure of picking up a guitar that will transform your adolescent bedroom into an arena filled with screaming fans and pot smoke is the myth that keeps rock and roll forever young, and it’s a kind of dream narrative that has keeps getting re-told, whether it’s The Byrds’ “So You Want To Be A Rock-N-Roll Star” or about half the tracks on Weezer’s blue album, the burning adolescent desire to nothing less than fucking rock is the very thing that makes rock music a constantly renewable resource—and it’s also what makes Radkey—a trio of power riffing brothers—such a classic kind of rock and roll phenomenon.

                                                              Formed in the quiet enclaves of St. Joseph Missouri, the trio of 20 year-old Isaiah Radke (bass), 18 year-old Solomon Radke (drums), and 22 year-old Dee Radke (vocals/guitar) began making music together in 2010. Fueled by a steady diet of Nevermind and small town boredom, Radkey’s music quickly went from a bedroom hobby into a full-time pursuit. The band opened for Fishbone in 2011 – less than a year after first playing together – and eventually headed out on the road to play shows with the likes of Red Fang, Against Me, and Touche Amore. Given that the band members were homeschooled (and thanks to their incredibly supportive parents), the idea of jumping in the family van and hitting the road gradually morphed from a kind of surreal fantasy into a much-celebrated reality. In 2013 the band unleashed two EPs (Cat And Mouse and Devil Fruit) and knocked out tons of big-ticket live appearances (including Riot Fest, Download, and, in 2015, Coachella and Japan’s Punksping) in addition to taping a memorable spot for Later with Jools Holland. Though early press on the band often focused on their unconventional backstory—a rock band comprised of three homeschooled African-American teenagers from Missouri—the band’s backstory was always eclipsed by their incendiary live sets: balls-to-the-wall garage punk that is messy, explosive, and crazy loud.

                                                              “The last couple of years have been really crazy,” says Isaiah, the group’s most outspoken member. “Traveling in England in Europe was really cool for us. It’s incredible—and such a weird feeling—that you are doing something that is actually important to people. To travel to other countries and see people singing along with us is just…it’s really strange. I never thought our music would become a thing that could take us to all of these places.”

                                                              After nearly five years of playing and touring together as a band, all of the Radkey’s hard work comes full circle on Dark Black Makeup—the band’s full-length debut. Recorded primarily in the UK alongside producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, The Fall, Jarvis Cocker), the album is a blistering punk opus—13 tracks that show off the band’s knack for combining stadium-sized riffs with surprising pop sensibilities. Tracks like “Love Spills” and “Evil Doer” rank among some of the best—and hookiest—songs the band has ever written, while tracks like “Le Song” and the album’s title track show just what an unstoppable live juggernaut the band has become. The songs are both tightly wound and explosively huge-sounding “We wanted to show people that you can still make a proper rock record,” explains Isaiah, “Something that is both super catchy and super heavy. We want people to hear it and think Fuck Yeah! Mostly we just try and only write songs that we love—that we love the shit out of—and that way it never gets boring and it never feels like a drag to play them live even if we’ve been playing them for years. It seems like a simple thing, but we really just want to make the music that we want to hear.”

                                                              Dark Black Makeup tackles more than a few teenage tropes—boredom, anger, girl problems, broken friendships—but does so in a way that is not only clever, but also refreshingly honest. No where is this more evident than on the record’s title track, which itself is a kind of high-decibel wake up call for young people to take ownership of their own lives: a sort of punch in the face for teen angst that is made all the more visceral coming from three musicians just barely out of their own teen years. “That song is about how much of your teenage years can just be such a waste,” says Isaiah, “If you spend all of your time not caring about anything just because you think you’re not supposed to then you’re probably leading such a boring life. You could be partying or making something, as opposed to just spending all your time worrying about what other people think. It’s like, wake up. Hang out. Do something. It’s annoying that you can’t necessarily change the fucking world at that age, but you can make your own situation better. Stop wasting time”

                                                              Five years in and the brothers Radkey are happy to be making a musical statement that will hopefully put to rest a few of the preconceptions that have followed them throughout their career thus far—namely those based around their age, their hometown, and race. “Surprisingly that—the racial thing—hasn’t been a factor for us,” says Dee. “Honestly, it’s never been about that. Mostly we get given a hard time about our age, but that’s also something we can’t really change. We might walk into a venue and feel like people are taken a little bit by surprise when they see us, but usually after we play all of that stuff kind of goes away. We get a lot of questions about being brothers—like, do we argue?—and it’s a good question I guess, but the answer is no, we don’t really argue very much. And yes, we all write the songs together—everyone writes—so it’s not a thing we really spend too much time thinking or talking about it.”

                                                              The ambition of Dark Black Makeup is evidenced by the heightened songwriting and broadened sonic palette, but the energy behind the music remains the same—visceral, urgent, and raw. It is the sound of three people doing what they love…loudly. “Our only ambitions have ever really been to make a record that people will love and to be able to play as many shows as we can,” says Isaiah, “It’s also a personal journey. We’ve been living this for years now. This is literally all that we do and the record is the evidence of that. I stop and think, man I’m 20 years old and I’ve been doing this since I was basically 14. We’re still making the same kind of music we were when we started, but we’re better at it now. Thankfully, we’ve had the opportunity to actually go out into the world and experience some real shit, which gives us something to write about now. We just want people to listen. And play it really loud.”

                                                              OUR LINKS


                                                              Drop a Grand

                                                              TRADING WITH THE ENEMY!!!

                                                              Founded in 1975, G. Blanzden & Associates (dba DROP A GRAND) is one of the world’s largest providers of Psych and Shmooze services in the industry of face melting.

                                                              MEMBERS:
                                                              GERN BLANZDEN guitar vox phase
                                                              UNICRON bass vox fx
                                                              WHITE N SHITTY II keys keytar synth
                                                              2 DOLLA BILL skins vox

                                                              GUESTS:
                                                              DR FLASH!! shredder
                                                              SACRED HORNS OF MANITOBA (aka Brass Flag)
                                                              WHITE N SHITTY I plastic saxxx
                                                              SHEILA P digital percussives
                                                              Z phazer accordion

                                                              Drop a Grand is a Kansas City band or a performance-art ensemble. Or both.

                                                              Its members wear costumes and go by pseudonyms or noms-de-tunes. Their performances are loud, brash, dramatic and subversive. Their music is a deranged, riff-roaring clamor that clings to a steel-toed groove.

                                                              “It’s psychotropic blues-punk,” said Unicron, the band’s bassist. We recently interviewed the band’s founder, Gern Blanzden, about the band’s music and the art of costuming.

                                                              What was the concept of Drop a Grand from the beginning?

                                                              It’s very self-serving: I have $1,000 to blow with my buddies. … What should we do? Sure as hell ain’t gonna play a round of golf, now are we? Mommy always said if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing. In DAG we’d get blurry-eyed, make some enemies and blame it on the Tiger.

                                                              Were costumes part of the concept from the start?

                                                              Complete disguise was initially the only means of getting others to join me on a stage. Kind of an afterthought, but whatever. The art of costuming has significant advantages: minimal stalkers and no unwarranted shop talk from town to town.

                                                              OUR LINKS


                                                              The Bad Ideas

                                                              The Bad Ideas is an American punk band from Kansas City, Missouri formed in August 2011. They've written all original songs and are influenced by post-hardcore, punk, and early 80's punk. Their EP, Worse Thoughts, was recorded on January 22, 2012 and released March, 2012. Their first self-produced full length, Lesson #1 was released March 8, 2013. The Bad Ideas also released a 7" split with Red Kate on March 31, 2014. Their most recent release is a full length cassette, "Leave Me Alone." Released in June 6, 2015.

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                                                              Wick & the Tricks

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                                                                3/23

                                                                Nelli Fest featuring..

                                                                The Sluts
                                                                Vivid Zebra

                                                                All Ages | 7 pm

                                                                Benefit for The Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center of Lawrence

                                                                Nelli Fest featuring..

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                                                                  The Sluts

                                                                  The Sluts are a two-piece garage rock/punk/grunge act from Lawrence Fucking Kansas.

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                                                                  Vivid Zebra

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                                                                    3/27

                                                                    Dilly Dally

                                                                    All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                    Dilly Dally

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                                                                      3/29

                                                                      Moon Tooth

                                                                      The Gorge
                                                                      Existem
                                                                      Lightbringer

                                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                      Moon Tooth

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                                                                        The Gorge


                                                                        "They're no-frills players who understand the value of restraint and dynamics, and employ meticulous arrangements that also hint at frantic mathcore and technical metal. These strengths come through loud and clear on the Gorge's most recent album, Thousand Year Fire. The album's power-drill drumming, jackhammer guitars and roaring vocals should please Baroness and Mastodon fans who aren't stoked on how those bands have evolved."-Annie Zaleski



                                                                          Existem

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                                                                            Lightbringer

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                                                                              3/30

                                                                              The Real Zebos

                                                                              Essenger
                                                                              Sons of Stereo
                                                                              Faintheart

                                                                              All Ages | 7 pm

                                                                              The Real Zebos

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                                                                                Essenger

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                                                                                  Sons of Stereo

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                                                                                    Faintheart

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                                                                                      4/1

                                                                                      Caamp

                                                                                      Ona

                                                                                      All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                      Caamp

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                                                                                        Ona

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                                                                                          4/5

                                                                                          Plini

                                                                                          Mestis
                                                                                          Dave Mackay

                                                                                          All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                          Plini

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                                                                                            Mestis

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                                                                                              Dave Mackay

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                                                                                                4/7

                                                                                                Mom Jeans

                                                                                                Mover Shaker
                                                                                                Sincere Engineer

                                                                                                All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                Mom Jeans

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                                                                                                  Mover Shaker

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                                                                                                    Sincere Engineer

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                                                                                                      4/9

                                                                                                      Copeland

                                                                                                      From Indian Lakes
                                                                                                      Many Rooms

                                                                                                      All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                      Copeland

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                                                                                                        From Indian Lakes

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                                                                                                          Many Rooms

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                                                                                                            4/13

                                                                                                            BIG SMO

                                                                                                            18 & Over | 8 pm

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                                                                                                            BIG SMO

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                                                                                                            4/20

                                                                                                            Droids Attack

                                                                                                            Inner Alter
                                                                                                            Snowchild
                                                                                                            They Watch us from the Moon
                                                                                                            PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

                                                                                                            All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                            Droids Attack

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                                                                                                              Inner Alter

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                                                                                                                Snowchild

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                                                                                                                  They Watch us from the Moon

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                                                                                                                    Automatic Wolf

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                                                                                                                    4/26

                                                                                                                    Thank You Scientist

                                                                                                                    Kindo
                                                                                                                    In the Presence of Wolves

                                                                                                                    All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                                    Thank You Scientist

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                                                                                                                    Kindo

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                                                                                                                      In the Presence of Wolves

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                                                                                                                        5/7

                                                                                                                        Family of the Year//Lydia

                                                                                                                        All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                                        Family of the Year//Lydia

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                                                                                                                          5/9

                                                                                                                          Shoebox Money

                                                                                                                          Jean Claude and the Eclairs
                                                                                                                          Cavves
                                                                                                                          The Arsonist

                                                                                                                          All Ages | 7:30 pm

                                                                                                                          Shoebox Money

                                                                                                                          Returning from a 9 month hiatus in April of 2017, Shoebox Money found a lineup that really works and discovered their sound with original members Patrick and Ben W. (Bass and lead guitar/harmonica) paired with new members Ben S. and Dylan (vocals/rhythm guitar and drums). Drawing equally from classic rock and blues as well as post garage rock revival and alt punk, these indie rockers produce theory driven music and put on high energy live shows.

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                                                                                                                          Jean Claude and the Eclairs

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                                                                                                                            Cavves

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                                                                                                                              The Arsonist

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                                                                                                                                5/30

                                                                                                                                SkeletonWitch

                                                                                                                                Soft Kill
                                                                                                                                Matrtyrod
                                                                                                                                Wiegedood

                                                                                                                                All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                                                SkeletonWitch

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                                                                                                                                  Soft Kill

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                                                                                                                                    Matrtyrod

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                                                                                                                                      Wiegedood

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                                                                                                                                        6/14

                                                                                                                                        Truck Stop Love

                                                                                                                                        Godzillionaire
                                                                                                                                        Headlight Rivals

                                                                                                                                        All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                                                        Truck Stop Love

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                                                                                                                                          Godzillionaire

                                                                                                                                          Heavy space rock from Lawrence, KS.

                                                                                                                                          OUR LINKS


                                                                                                                                          Headlight Rivals

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                                                                                                                                            Sky Smeed at The Bottleneck June 14th

                                                                                                                                            Sky Smeed at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Sky Smeed (Image via http://www.skysmeed.com)

                                                                                                                                            Sky Smeed is a singer-songwriter from Chanute, Kansas. Smeed’s latest release is the album Drive All Night. Music has always been a big part of his life. “My grandfather played guitar, fiddle, and banjo. He showed me how to play G C and D chords when I was about ten years old. My father wrote songs and played harmonica while driving, “ Smeed says.

                                                                                                                                            Sky Smeed at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Sky Smeed (Image via http://www.skysmeed.com)

                                                                                                                                            Sky is inspired by musicians such as Guy Clark, Anders Osborne, Mike West, Robert Earl Keen. “They all write songs you can latch onto and immediately feel. They aren’t afraid to throw some humor in there,” he says.

                                                                                                                                            Sky Smeed plays The Bottleneck June 14th with Corb Lund.

                                                                                                                                            Satsang: Helping People Move to a Place of Self Love and Care

                                                                                                                                            Satsang at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Satsang (Image via http://www.satangmovement.com)

                                                                                                                                            Satsang is a Montana-based conscious music collective. They combine reggae/roots music and bluegrass instrumentation to form their sound. Guitarist/vocalist Drew McManus recently discussed how he became passionate about reggae, the formation of Satsang and how the band uses their music to encourage a positive mindset. Satsang plays The Bottleneck June 11th.

                                                                                                                                            What was your earliest musical memory? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                                                                            The one that keeps coming to mind is my mom dancing around the house with me in her arms to “Achy Breakie Heart” by Billie Ray Cyrus when it first came out. I clearly remember being like “What is this crap?” Then I saw his hair and my suspicions of his gooberness was confirmed My parents were both very musical. My mom has a beautiful voice and used to be in the Nashville Songwriters Guild. She wrote country songs. My dad plays guitar, bass, drums. He has always played in whatever church he attended. They both definitely played a huge part in me starting playing.

                                                                                                                                            You skillfully blend roots music and roots instrumentation. What first got you interested in reggae and bluegrass?

                                                                                                                                            I was introduced to reggae through punk rock initially. I loved Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, U.S Bombs etc and then heard Rancid and Catch 22. Then when I took my first trip to Chicago at like 15 I met a bunch of my sisters homies that were all tattooed skater dudes that listened to Roots Reggae. Toots, Skatalites, Old Marley, Desmond Decker, etc Then I started digging in on my own and found Marley’s later works. Catch a Fire on changed me entirely as a person, particularly Survival. As far as bluegrass, I dug it during my hippie phase in my late teens but don’t really get down to it. I met David and during the time he was in the band, the mandolin just kind of worked. But I have never had deep emotional ties to bluegrass. For me it has always been reggae and good hip hop that have moved me, and folk/rock most recently. Our van is a great place to get a grasp on what we like, it is so vast. It is not uncommon to hear Bright Eyes, Kendrick Lamar, Coltrane, Common, and Wilco all in like a 45 min drive.

                                                                                                                                            How did Satsang first come together?

                                                                                                                                            Satsang first came together after a pretty heavy time. I was a practicing alcoholic/addict and was just kind of wasting away in Chicago. When I moved to Montana, I got it together for a bit and then slipped right back down. After a really intense spiritual experience, the support of my amazing partner Summer, and an extended stay in the Himalaya… a flood gate opened. I just started writing everyday. It kind of just hasn’t stopped for like 3 years. Anyway, I came back from Nepal with these songs, linked with David, we started just playing/touring and then when his health got to a point where he couldn’t tour, I rebuilt the band with one of my oldest friends in the world, Karl. He produced this new record The Story of You and we added Keller and have just been moving forward and evolving.

                                                                                                                                            You write very conscious lyrics. What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                                                                            I get inspiration from everything. I listen to a lot of hip hop. As far as song writing style, I draw a lot from conscious hip hop delivery and style. I have had a pretty gnarly first half of life. Came from an abusive home, struggled with addiction, have lost a lot of homies to addiction and through a lot of grace, prayer, and work I have come out the other side with Dharma intact. I see so many people who become victims of their stories. I was one of them for a long time. But the power that we can attain through acceptance of our past, and not just acceptance, but growing to love what it taught us and how it molded us. There is so much power in that. So for me, that is my purpose. Not with every song. The over all mission for Satsang, for me, is to help people move into a place of self love and care. When people love themselves, reaching their highest potential, doing tough self work, etc becomes much much easier.

                                                                                                                                            Do you try and record your tracks as live as possible?

                                                                                                                                            Recording is funny for us, we do it differently than most bands I know. Karl and I made The Story of You in my home. Just worked like 14 days straight through on it. On good days, I can record guitar parts on 1 take and usually knock out vox in one shot. The next record may be recorded almost entirely live. Keller is such a phenomenal drummer, unreal and live. He goes off. So, we are in talks right now of how we want to approach this next record. The songs are written and we have some stems done but we are all really turned on by that kind of recording. That’s how it all used to be done. Do a live take, and then come back and get weird over top of it.

                                                                                                                                            Satsang at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Satsang (Image via http://www.satsangmovement.com)

                                                                                                                                            What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                                                                            Challenges in this line of work are never ending. Reforming the new band was definitely a trip. Karl was living in Chicago, Keller was in a bunch of projects. We were in between agents, didn’t have management. We stayed way prayerful and just kept grinding. Made the record, I kept hounding our current agent and management team. It all came together amazingly. We are so exited about our band and our team. If you keep working, it generally works out. I am also blessed to have a lot of big brothers and uncles in our musical family that have provided endless support and advice.

                                                                                                                                            Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                                                                            So many quotes. I have a lot of people I look up to. Malcolm, Fred Hampton, King. The one I have hand written on a sticky pad in front of my desk is,

                                                                                                                                            “Stay focused, work hard, remember to pray, trust the process.”

                                                                                                                                            But another favorite is:

                                                                                                                                            “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” – Malcolm X

                                                                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                                            Figure out what you want out of your music. Do you want to do it for a living? Just want to make it to make it? Does it matter to you if it gets noticed or is it just for you? All of them are fine! Figuring out what you want from it is step 1. For someone aspiring to be a professional musician: Practice a lot, ask questions, see how other people do things and adapt your own plan off of things you see that work, and be patient… which is the hardest part.

                                                                                                                                            The Hornitz Bring Their Grooves to The Bottleneck June 4th

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                                                                                                                                            The Hornitz (Image via http://www.thehornitz.com)

                                                                                                                                            The Hornitz is a Boston-based duo. The band features trombonist Friendship and tenor sax player Stoobacca. Their groovy songs and passionate live shows have been winning over fans nationwide.

                                                                                                                                            The Hornitz’s songs have a very live, energetic feel. The band often build their songs through looping. “When you’re in a band that records all sounds to loopers, live, figuring out ways to make that process as concise and/or interesting as possible is hugely important. Arrangements for my favorite The Hornitz songs are such that the building of the loops is the song,” says Friendship.

                                                                                                                                            The Hornitz at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            The Hornitz (Image via http://www.youtube.com)

                                                                                                                                            The band is all about bringing the fun to the people. “If something makes you smile, smile at it! If something makes you want to dance, dance! Life is too short to be self-conscious in a crowd of people who are all there to have a good time,” Friendship says. The Hornitz bring their funky jams to The Bottleneck June 4th with Mangosteen.

                                                                                                                                            Get Hip to the Hip Abduction

                                                                                                                                            Hip Abduction at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            The Hip Abduction (Image via https://thehipabduction.com/ )

                                                                                                                                            The Hip Abduction combines African music, reggae and more to create their unique sound. The Florida-based band creates joyous and energetic music.

                                                                                                                                            “The Hip Abduction started informally back 2007 as a solo project, but we really started to create the sound we have today in 2010-2011. We all met in St. Petersburg, FL over our mutual love of African music, reggae, surfing, and jamming,” said bassist Chris Powers.

                                                                                                                                            Powers became interested in world music because of Paul Simon’s classic album Graceland, “As I grew older, I began to research the musicians on the album and get into music from all over the globe. I am now surrounded by musicians who love music from around the world.”

                                                                                                                                            The Hip Abduction (Image via http://consequenceofsound.net/ )

                                                                                                                                            The band is lyrically inspired by “far-away places, travel, dreams, the sunny spot in the sand in your mind.”

                                                                                                                                            Take a musical journey with the Hip Abduction when they play a FREE SHOW at Th Bottleneck July 20th.

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love Brings His Uplifting Reggae Vibes to The Bottleneck May 17th

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love (Image via http://www.hawaiianreggae.org )

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love is a Hawaiian reggae artist. His passion for music and positive mindset are inspiring. “We are challenged to wake up every day and create something positive, effect a positive change,” he says.

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love’s musical journey began when his father would improvise a song every night to sing him to sleep. Bob Marley’s Legend was the album that started Love’s interest in reggae.

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love (Image via http://www.mikelovemusic.com/ )

                                                                                                                                            Love began writing songs at 15. Love is known for his conscious lyrics, “The lyrics come from another place, I couldn’t tell you where exactly, but it’s not inside of me. I just make myself open to them and they come.” The lyrics help him to become more centered, “They are like lessons that I need to learn, about appreciating my family, learning from my environment, anything and everything.”

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love’s passionate advice to artists just starting out is inspirational,  “Be honest, write and play music about the things that are meaningful to you so that the passion is there behind the message you’re conveying. Remain humble and realize that all music is a gift and just as its given it can be easily taken away by things like vanity and greed.”

                                                                                                                                            Mike Love plays The Bottleneck with Kansas City-based band 77 Jefferson May 17th.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            An Interview with The Sluts

                                                                                                                                            The Sluts

                                                                                                                                            The Sluts bring seedy rock to the people. The Lawrence-based duo of Kristoffer Dover (drums) and Ryan Wise (guitar) play The Bottleneck May 6th.

                                                                                                                                            Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
                                                                                                                                            Ryan: My parents weren’t very musical but my uncles and my grandfather all played acoustic guitars at family gatherings. Mostly gospel and old country songs.

                                                                                                                                            What was your earliest musical memory?
                                                                                                                                            Ryan: My first clear memory of music in my life would be riding in my dad’s 1989, sky blue, T top, Camaro listening to this oldies station out of Springfield, MO. It was 105.1 or 105.3. It was a stellar station. He really loved Heart Full of Soul by The Yardbirds. When it would come on, my dad would play air guitar and get really excited. I distinctly remember the lead guitar in that song feeling so electric and having a big effect of me. I wanted to hear more rock and roll like that. He always played great music in the car. He would play these Jan and Dean tapes and they were my favorite for a long time when I was little. He also had cassette copies of Springsteen’s Born in the USA and Born to Run in the car. They were on heavy rotation as I recall.

                                                                                                                                            What was your first concert?
                                                                                                                                            Ryan: My uncle, Harry, took me to my first real rock show. The bill was Slaughter, Quiet Riot, Night Ranger, and Ted Nugent. I think I was ten and I was so happy to be at a rock show. I saw a girl smoking a joint with her boobs out, I got to sip a little beer, and my balls probably dropped right then. Don’t tell my mom.

                                                                                                                                            How did The Sluts first come together?
                                                                                                                                            Ryan: I was between projects and wanted to be in a band, but I was tired of working with musician types. I found that their egos far outweighed their abilities. I just couldn’t find a drummer willing to simplify their part enough to

                                                                                                                                            The Sluts

                                                                                                                                            The Sluts (Image via http:www.lawrence.com)

                                                                                                                                            compliment the songs I was writing. I lamented to Dover about it and he bought a drum kit off Craigslist and we started meeting Saturdays. Our friend Thom Glandzman is nice enough to let us practice in his garage. We’d get a bit drunk and try to write a tune every week. After about a year of doing that, we realized that we had about a 14 song setlist we weren’t ashamed of. So we started booking shows and people didn’t hate it right away. We still just rehearse and write one day a week.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            Your studio tracks have a very raw sound. Do you try and record your songs as live as possible?
                                                                                                                                            Ryan: We do like a more natural, raw recording but we do overdub guitars and vocals to achieve a certain tonality. We track  drums with me in a booth playing and singing the song. So it is played live but we got back and replace most of the guitars and record double guitar tracks. Then we go back and replace the vox. We do one clean and one dirty and blend that sound to get that scratchy, walkie talkie tone you hear on our recent recordings.

                                                                                                                                            You’re playing The Bottleneck May 6th. What do you enjoy most about playing Lawrence?
                                                                                                                                            Kris: The venues are all a few blocks from where we live, and every time we play a crowd of people we don’t know show up and sing our songs back at us. Why bother touring when you have such a badass scene literally in your back yard?

                                                                                                                                            What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
                                                                                                                                            Kris: Only our own laziness, drunkenness, and occasional self-doubt.

                                                                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
                                                                                                                                            Kris: Make music that you like, put it out there, and see if it deserves attention. That’s called being legitimate. Don’t manufacture something and then strive desperately to make it famous. That’s called being pathetic.

                                                                                                                                            Eleanor Friedberger: The Bottleneck Interview

                                                                                                                                            Eleanor Friedberger (Photo by Joe DeNardo)

                                                                                                                                            Eleanor Friedberger (Photo by Joe DeNardo)

                                                                                                                                            Eleanor Friedberger is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She is an acclaimed solo artist and is also a member of the Fiery Furnaces. Eleanor recently discussed her approach to songwriting, the creative atmosphere of college towns and advice to artists just starting out. Eleanor Friedberger plays The Bottleneck April 26th.

                                                                                                                                            You come from a musical family. What was your earliest musical memory?
                                                                                                                                            There are too many to know which came first. Probably sitting in the choir loft, watching my grandmother sing.

                                                                                                                                            What was the first album you bought?
                                                                                                                                            The first single I bought was an Eurythmics 7″ of “Sweet Dreams.” I played it on my Fisher Price record player. I think the first tape I bought was the soundtrack to the movie Stand By Me or Paul Simon’s Graceland. The first CD I bought was Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy.

                                                                                                                                            You are a multi-instrumentalist. What was the first instrument you learned how to play?
                                                                                                                                            I learned guitar first. My brother bought me an electric guitar for Christmas and wrote down a few chords in a spiral notebook and charts for “Sweet Jane” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

                                                                                                                                            How does your creative approach work when writing songs? Do you start with lyrics or melody first?
                                                                                                                                            I start with the lyrics first, probably 95 percent of the time.

                                                                                                                                            What inspires you lyrically?
                                                                                                                                            Conversations– first-hand or overheard, text messages, lines from movies, awkward situations.

                                                                                                                                            What was the first song written for New View?
                                                                                                                                            The first songs written, and the ones I spent the most time on were “All Known Things” and “Open Season.”

                                                                                                                                            You’re playing The Bottleneck April 26th. What do you enjoy most about playing Lawrence?
                                                                                                                                            I think of Lawrence as an archetypal Midwestern college town. I spent a lot of time as a teenager hanging out in Champaign-Urbana, IL, so I feel very at home in that environment. I can easily sink into the laid-back, creative atmosphere.

                                                                                                                                            Eleanor Friedberger (Image via http://www.eleanorfriedberger.com)

                                                                                                                                            Eleanor Friedberger (Image via http://www.eleanorfriedberger.com)

                                                                                                                                            What are your hobbies outside of music?
                                                                                                                                            For the past few years I’ve been trying to hone my DIY home repair skills; everything from painting, dry wall mudding, hanging insulation, gardening, tree pruning, etc.

                                                                                                                                            What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
                                                                                                                                            Accepting that I don’t have a plan B.

                                                                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
                                                                                                                                            You have to be okay with living in the moment and not know where things will take you from month to month. That kind of instability isn’t for everyone. Oh, and practice!

                                                                                                                                            Drawing Inspiration from the Physical and Dream Worlds: A Conversation with Haunted Summer’s Bridgette Eliza Moody

                                                                                                                                            HAUNTED-SUMMER_BAND-650x440

                                                                                                                                            Haunted Summer (Image via YouTube)

                                                                                                                                            Haunted Summer is a Los Angeles-based band comprised of husband and wife duo Bridgette Eliza Moody and John Seasons. Bridgette recently discussed the band’s beginnings, the collaborative nature of their creative process and drawing lyrical inspiration from their physical world and dream world. Haunted Summer plays The Bottleneck Open Mic Night as a special guest May 9th.

                                                                                                                                            Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
                                                                                                                                            Yes, we were both fortunate to grow up with parents who either played or really loved music. It definitely flows in through the blood and everyone is best at different things, so a supergroup usually manifests if there’s too many of us together at once!

                                                                                                                                            What was your first musical memory?
                                                                                                                                            Pretty much all of my first memories are musical, probably dancing around in the kitchen singing R.E.M. or U2 with my mom.

                                                                                                                                            What was the first album you bought?
                                                                                                                                            I was obsessed with essentially collecting various but all too similar compilations of “60’s Greatest Hits” as a kid. I’m sure Spice Girls probably broke that streak.

                                                                                                                                            What was your first concert?
                                                                                                                                            First one I remember was Randy Newman at the Hollywood Bowl, though I wish I could remember seeing Lou Reed in utero, haha!

                                                                                                                                            What do you enjoy most about the music scene in LA?
                                                                                                                                            It’s definitely a buffet of music. You want it? You got it.

                                                                                                                                            Haunted Summer (Image va Amanda Glover)

                                                                                                                                            Haunted Summer (Image va Amanda Glover)

                                                                                                                                            What is your creative process when making tracks?
                                                                                                                                            John and I work in a very collaborative back and forth manner. We like to record the songs as they are conceived, we find that the most honest and pure ideas come before a song has been too overworked. Then we will go back and almost learn the song as it, in a way, wrote itself.

                                                                                                                                            What inspires you lyrically?
                                                                                                                                            Our lyrics are incredibly important to us, and we strive to feel and believe every word we say. Every line comes from personal experiences either in the physical world or our dream world.

                                                                                                                                            How often do you find yourself writing songs?
                                                                                                                                            Since we are on the road so often, our songs are constantly evolving live and it keeps it very fresh. We take our time with new material, it never feels right to push anything out. Creation comes in waves and once it’s ready to be realized, we ride it in and let the music express itself through us.

                                                                                                                                            What was the first song you created as Haunted Summer?
                                                                                                                                            “Young Enough” was the first song we ever wrote together. The version you hear on Something in the Water is the original demo, the absolute conception of the song. It was Thanksgiving day, 2012 and the holiday-quiet was the perfect atmosphere to truly hear each other as solo musical beings. We couldn’t stop writing after that…

                                                                                                                                            How did “All Around” come together?
                                                                                                                                            It details the story of our gratitude to the universe for finding us in our darkest moment and giving us the spark of clarity that brought us together and saved our lives. If you live in truth, the universe will find it’s place for you.

                                                                                                                                            What inspired “Dawn of the Red?”
                                                                                                                                            It’s a take on the old adages of loving something but having to let go and also not appreciating what you have until you no longer have it. Gratitude and unconditional love.

                                                                                                                                            What are your hobbies outside of music?
                                                                                                                                            I think we might be addicted to traveling. We’re so lucky to be in a position that pretty much demands it!

                                                                                                                                            What quote or motto do you live by?
                                                                                                                                            “Be mysterious, be in love, and you will be happy” – Paul Gauguin.

                                                                                                                                            What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
                                                                                                                                            It can be an incredibly tenuous balance keeping a viable home base while constantly touring. We are the lucky few that don’t have to leave our significant other. You miss them; family, friends, jobs…and they don’t always understand that being a musician is far from being on constant vacation. But you know you’d rather be doing this than anything else!

                                                                                                                                            What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
                                                                                                                                            Go for it, get out there; and I mean OUT there. Go to new places, meet new people, create something more than a “scene,” because it’s bigger than that. We are all connected in this giant musical body, and it takes all parts physically communicating to each other to create movement in this body. You could also aim for at least a couch to sleep on in every state!

                                                                                                                                            An Interview with Head for the Hills Member Joe Lessard

                                                                                                                                            Head for the Hills (Image via http://www.headforthehillsmusic.com).

                                                                                                                                            Head for the Hills (Image via http://www.headforthehillsmusic.com).

                                                                                                                                            Head for the Hills is a Fort Collins, Colorado-based progressive bluegrass band. Violin player Joe Lessard recently discussed coming from a musical family, how he became passionate about bluegrass and his love of the Colorado music scene. Head for the Hills plays the Bottleneck April 28th with Steamboat Bandits and the Center State.

                                                                                                                                            Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
                                                                                                                                            Yes, I did personally. I didn’t come from a bluegrass background by any means though, my family’s a bunch of classical musicians. All of us come from pretty different places musically, but bluegrass was a great meeting ground for us to bring in our various musical influences.

                                                                                                                                            What was your earliest musical memory?
                                                                                                                                            My mother is a cellist, so my earliest musical memories involve her playing at our home in Knoxville, TN. I had a violin with no strings on it that I would “play” cello on next to my mom. Ya know, air cello, back before air guitar was a big deal.

                                                                                                                                            What first got you interested in bluegrass?
                                                                                                                                            As a classical violinist, playing Irish and Scottish fiddle tunes was a way for me to escape the strict structure of that world. That naturally led me to the American bluegrass tradition that spawned from such European styles.

                                                                                                                                            How did Head for the Hills first get started?
                                                                                                                                            We all met as freshmen at Colorado State University. Like I said before, we all come from pretty different musical backgrounds, but bluegrass was a perfect mutual interest for us to rally around. We started practicing in a dorm room, then moved to playing house parties and backyards til we could start booking gigs at real music venues. The rest is history!

                                                                                                                                            How does your creative approach work when writing songs? Do you start with lyrics or melody first?
                                                                                                                                            It all depends on the song. We all write in the group, and we often bring pretty complete ideas to the band, then proceed to put on the finishing touches as a group. Other times we have a fraction of an idea or a melody or words and then develop the whole thing more as a band. It’s really nice not having a “front man” for that reason, we’re very diplomatic and sharing duties is part of the whole experience for us.

                                                                                                                                            Your studio albums have a very live feel to them. Do you try to record your songs as live as possible?
                                                                                                                                            Yea, we’re very driven by the live energy at shows and we’re always trying to at least approach that feeling in the studio. We’re striving for a certain amount of perfection in the studio, but doing so in a way that doesn’t sacrifice feeling and that earnest emotion that can be captured in a live performance.

                                                                                                                                            Head for the Hills is based in Fort Collins. What do you enjoy most about the Colorado music scene?
                                                                                                                                            Colorado is definitely a great place to live and play music. We’ve been super fortunate in a lot of ways, but it was particularly meaningful that people from bands like Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band took us under their wing early on and made us feel like part of the scene. Now that we’ve been a band for more than 10 years, we’d like to think we can offer the same sort of support for young bands.

                                                                                                                                            You tour a ton. What have been some of your strangest moments on the road?
                                                                                                                                            That’s a tough one. There’s so many strange moments being on the road, that’s kind of what makes it so fun. I woke up in the middle of a police raid when staying at a stranger’s house one time. He was a home brewer and the neighbors had seen him bringing giant bags of hops into the house and thought it was pot. Weird stuff like that.

                                                                                                                                            Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
                                                                                                                                            Not really. Just being respectful and easy to work with is a rule I try to adhere to. This is a business of lots of interpersonal relationships where everyone knows everyone else, not being an asshole goes a long way!

                                                                                                                                            What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
                                                                                                                                            Just treating people like you want to be treated is a good start. Banjo player Danny Barnes has a great article on “How to be in someone else’s band” that every musician should read. It definitely applies to all genres, however your band is formatted.

                                                                                                                                            A String of Air Guitar History — An Interview with US World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin

                                                                                                                                            A String of Air Guitar History —

                                                                                                                                            An Interview with US World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin

                                                                                                                                            Eric Melin US Air Guitar Championship at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                            Some people are born great musicians. Others are born great air rockers. And then there are individuals who seem to have the best of both worlds.

                                                                                                                                            Eric Melin, happens to be one of those individuals. Melin won the 2013 Air Guitar World Championship and on Friday, April 22nd, he will host the first ever US Air Guitar Competition in Lawrence at The Bottleneck.

                                                                                                                                            Below Melin gives a few tips for competitors and talks about his involvement with the competition.

                                                                                                                                            How did you first get involved with US Air Guitar Competition?

                                                                                                                                            I saw the 2007 movie AIR GUITAR NATION through Netflix in 2009 and was like “Holy crap! Competitive air guitar is a thing?” Immediately I got online and started watching amazing videos from US and World Air Guitar shows, and began working on a routine. USAG came to Kansas City for the first time that year, so I entered, won, and went to Nationals in DC. I was floored to see thousands of people screaming and going nuts for these performers. It was like World Wrestling and rock n’ roll all tied up into one absurdly fun package.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            You won the Air Guitar WORLD Competition in 2013. Holy hell. What was that like?

                                                                                                                                            It was the realization of a dream, believe it or not! That year I wrote and recorded an original song with my friend Doug specifically designed to match up with ideas I had for an air guitar routine — and I was hoping it would give me an advantage over my competition. It did, but I still had two more compulsory rounds where I had to make up routines on the spot for songs I had just heard. After a round-three “Air-off” with another American competitor (Doug “The Thunder” Stroock), I came out on top and almost collapsed onstage!

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            What’s your go-to song that you love to rock the air to?

                                                                                                                                            Anything from Megadeth’s “Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying?” record or KISS – Alive!

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            Who are your air/guitar player influences?

                                                                                                                                            2008 world champ 2008 Hot Lixx Hulahan is still the king. Look him up on YouTube and weep at the majesty of his talent.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            Without stating the obvious, what is the greatest difference between being an air rocker and guitar player?

                                                                                                                                            Freedom. You are not limited by the constraints of a “there” guitar when you play air guitar. You can interpret the music however you want. My advice? Don’t be so literal when you perform. Be creative use your whole body, not just your hands.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            As the first air guitar competition to be held in Lawrence (AND at glorious The Bottleneck), what are you looking forward to most?

                                                                                                                                            This is truly a spectacle that need to be seen live to be understood. I can’t wait to watch the crowd get wowed by the over-the-top commitment and talent on display. I love watching it “click” with an audience. There’s that sweet sweet moment when an audience starts picking favorites and rooting for them and booing judges and getting into it. It can’t be beat. It’s nice to not sit in front of a phone or computer and experience something truly visceral, stupid, and sublime.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            How do you feel about air saxophone and air clarinet players? Is there a place in this world for them? (I’m asking for a friend).

                                                                                                                                            God bless ’em. Sexy Air Sax Man? It could work!

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            What does the competition entail?

                                                                                                                                            Round one is a one-minute routine each competitor has worked up to a song of their choice. The top 5 move on to round two, where we throw songs at them and they have to make up something on the spot. It can be brutal, but that’s where heroes are created!

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            What do the winning air guitar competitors win? Glory? A new Mercedes?

                                                                                                                                            This is the first step on the path to glory. The Top 3 competitors will move on to the Semifinal round. Winners there go to US Air Guitar National Finals in Austin, TX. Winner there moves on to the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            Any sneak peak of who is going to be on this year’s panel of judges?

                                                                                                                                            So far we have Kansas Public Radio’s Laura Lorson, Not So Late Show host Mike Anderson, and Jason Barr, host of the ADD Arts Podcast. Two more will join.

                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                            For those competing, do you have an advice? Sure do. Here are my 11 Commandments of Air.

                                                                                                                                            Want to be a part of US Air Guitar history? Buy your tickets today!

                                                                                                                                             

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